Hamas has controlled the Gaza strip since 2007. In the recent clashes between Hamas and Israel, Hamas has fired thousands of rockets on Israel. A senior Hamas leader claimed that till now Hamas has fired only those rockets that were about to expire and we have tens of thousands of modern and advanced rockets available in stock.
How did Hamas manage to get all these weapons? Who actually funds Hamas? let’s look at it.
First, we will look at how did Hamas manage to get weapons. Hamas used to receive rockets mostly from Iran. It smuggles Iranian rockets through Egypt and Sudan. The new government in Egypt and Sudan made it difficult for Hamas to smuggle rockets from Iran. Gaza strip the area under the control of Hamas, shares its border only with Israel and Egypt. When Egypt and Sudan governments put restrictions on rockets smuggling, Hamas start developing its own rockets. They source the material and technology from Hezbollah and Lebanon.
Hamas produces the rockets in local workshops using the drawings and documentation supplied by Iran. The location of the workshops is
Qatar is the most important financial backer and ally of Hamas. Qatar is the backbone of Hamas. Qatari Emir Sheik Hamad bin-Khalifa al-Thani was the first state leader to visit the Hamas government in 2012. He pledged to raise $400 million for reconstruction. the same year Hamas moved its capital to Doha. Qatar supports Hamas both financially and politically. Till now Qatar has transferred more than $2 billion dollars to Hamas.
This money is provided to Hamas to pay a monthly stipend to the civil servants working for Hamas, help poor people, and increase the defense of the Gaza strip. Dawah is the social service wing of Hamas. Dawah provides food to the poor, shelter to homeless people and medical aid to patients.
Qatar transfers $15 million to poverty-stricken Palestinian civil servants in the Gaza Strip every month since 2018. Even when violence escalated between Israel and Palestine, the leaders of Hamas were dispatched to Doha the capital of Qatar.
Qatar is not alone in supporting Hamas. The other countries supporting are Turkey, Iran and surprisingly China.
President of turkey met the political chief of Hamas last year when Trump proposed a peace plan for the middle east. Erdoğan described Hamas as “resistance fighters who are struggling to defend their land”. On U.S. television, Erdogan said in 2012 that “I don’t see Hamas as a terror organization. Hamas is a political party.”
China also supports Hamas and considers it as a political party, not a terrorist organization.
In 2014, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi called on Israel to lift its blockade and advised both Israel and Hamas to cease fighting. He reaffirmed support from China to the Palestinian people’s right to establish an independent state. He announced to grant $1.5 million in emergency humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.
Iran provides military and financial aid to Hamas. Iran gave Hamas an estimated 13 to 15 million dollars in 2011 as well as access to long-range missiles. In 2018, Iran was paying $70 million per year to Hamas. in 2019 Iran agreed to massively increase the monthly stipend of Hamas to $30 million per month which is $360 million per year.